While we’re on the topic of people I know, here’s one of my friends with one of his friends.
Seriously, watch out for this guy. He’s on my ‘probably going to be famous one day’ list.

The Life of Mr. Derrick Beast
The Unsung Tale of an Ordinary Man

Mr. Derrick Beast was, as may not be assumed by his name, a simple and peace loving-man. Although large in stature and rough around the edges, he was of calm demeanor and gentle touch.

In his early years, Mr. Derrick Beast had many an adventure, but had long since learned that the greatest adventure of all was loving those around him. In light of this, he settled down. He found himself a wife and gave himself completely, every fibre of his being, over to loving her, as she to him. Their marriage wasn’t a fairy tale marriage, as no real marriage is, but the constant, conscious choice to serve the other over the self allowed their love to prevail.

Their fought for love blossomed into several children who were fiercely loved themselves. These manifestations of love grew and, as their parents had prayed for, moved off in order to find both adventure and love of their own.

Through it all, Mr. and Mrs. Beast made the daily choice to care; to care about their family, to care about the community in which they found themselves, and to care about the people no one else cared about. For this they became known for both extravagent generosity and kindness.

As the pair grew old in years, Mr. Derrick Beast’s prayer, that Mrs. Beast would pass on before him in order to spare her the pain of love lost, was answered. The following times were haggarding on an already old soul. He was still himself, but only a third of what he used to be. Some think a marriage is two halves, but really it’s three thirds; me, you, and we.

Selflessly loving others helped dull the throbbing absence, but Mr. Derrick Beast soon followed on. His gravestone, per his wishes, read:

Mr. Derrick Beast lived for many years
and died having lived a satisfying life.
He breathed his last and joined his ancestors in death.

Mr. Derrick Beast was a simple and peace loving man. He was a jack of all trades, but a master of none. He was not an extraordinary man. In all ways, he was simply ordinary. His name will be forgotten. Memories of him will fade away. Songs will not be sung about his deeds and children will not learn of his exploits in school. His was not that kind of legacy. The legacy of Mr. Derrick Beast is one that lives on in the lives he touched and the ones they touched. The accomplishments and accumulations of a man ultimately fade, but the ideology of Mr. Derrick Beast, to live simply and love deeply, is what will continue on.

Excerpt from the Poem ‘When Death Comes’

by Mary Oliver

When it’s over, I want to say: all my life
I was a bride married to amazement.
I was the bridegroom, taking the world into my arms.

When it is over, I don’t want to wonder
if I have made of my life something particular, and real.
I don’t want to find myself sighing and frightened,
or full of argument.

I don’t want to end up simply having visited this world.

50 Prayers Challenge

The 50 Prayers Challenge is a challenge I’ve posed myself to complete as many prayers on this list as I can throughout 2014. The list is originally titled ‘50 Ways to Become the Answer to Our Prayers‘ and is posted on the website of a group who’s faith, and the practices it leads them to, I respect very much, The Simple Way. When I first found the list, I thought it would be a good challenge for someone (not me of course) to give a shot. Maybe I’d give it a try when I got back to the States, but not now. I’m currently living in Zambia and while it’s become familiar, it is far from home and I have zero clue how to go about some of these here. Then it struck me that I have zero clue how to go about some of these back in the States where I am home, comfortable, and acquainted. There will always be excuses to made so it’s go time.

Some of these prayers will actually be easier to accomplish while in Zambia and there will be some that I’ll probably save until I get back to the States in – Lord willing – August. Then, there are some where my location makes absolutely no difference. Finally, there are also several prayers on this list that I have no intention of completing, at least in 2014, based on who I am (single male) and what stage of life I am in. With all this said, embarking on this challenge, much like the Christian life, is not about success, it is about glorifying God. I want to complete as many of these prayers as possible, but that is not the goal. The goal is to grow in love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. It’s not about crossing items off a list (literally) in order to become a better Christian, but an exercise in pushing my idea of what it means to follow Christ’s example and falling more in love with my Creator.

If you’d like to join me, either physically or in spirit, in one or a few or all of the prayers, let me know. Email me and we’ll figure it out.

To see the list and follow along either go to the ’50 Prayers Challenge’ button at the top of the blog or click here.